A high-stakes presidential election that performed out amid a pandemic and a racial justice motion. A marquee U.S. Senate matchup that put a storied Massachusetts political dynasty on the road. And an abrupt altering of the guard on Beacon Hill that capped all of it off.
It’s been a pivotal yr in American and Massachusetts politics — an “unprecedented” time that Boston College presidential historian Thomas Whalen mentioned carries related historic significance to the nation-changing assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., the world wars and the 1918 flu pandemic.
“We’re going to be speaking about this yr for a really very long time to come back,” Whalen mentioned. “And the aftereffects of this yr are nonetheless to be written.”
Have a look again by means of the Herald’s greatest political tales of 2020:
Don’t name it a comeback, however when the Democratic primaries acquired underway in February it appeared like former Vice President Joe Biden’s third presidential bid was about to chunk the mud. Biden suffered a “gut punch” of a fourth-place finish in Iowa and fled New Hampshire earlier than ending fifth there. However his fortunes soon changed and by November, Biden, 78, turned the oldest person ever elected president, and his running mate, U.S. Sen. Kamala Harris, turned the primary Black girl and first South Asian girl elected vice chairman. However President Trump – who was briefly sidelined from campaigning by COVID-19 — is constant to problem the election outcomes.
Talking of comebacks, U.S. Sen. Edward Markey staged one for the historical past books when he fended off a Democratic primary challenge from U.S. Rep. Joseph Kennedy III. Markey was down by double digits when Kennedy launched his bid. However the 74-year-old Inexperienced New Deal coauthor harnessed the facility of the youth and progressive actions to notch a 10-point victory over Kennedy, 40, and beat Republican challenger Kevin O’Connor in November.
It was good to be an incumbent in Massachusetts this yr. Your entire Bay State congressional delegation was re-elected, save Kennedy, who will probably be succeeded by Democrat Jake Auchincloss within the 4th Congressional District.
However Bay State pols didn’t get very far within the presidential race. U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s Oval Office bid flamed out after she didn’t win a single state. Warren’s since been handed over for the vice presidency and most Cabinet positions under Biden. Former Govs. Deval Patrick and Bill Weld didn’t fare nicely, both.
Metropolis Councilors Michelle Wu and Andrea Campbell fired the beginning pistol for the 2021 Boston mayoral race as the 2 introduced their runs in September. Both one could be the primary one that’s not a white man to carry the highly effective place. Mayor Martin Walsh hasn’t but mentioned whether or not he’ll run for a 3rd time period — he’s been mentioned as Biden’s potential Labor secretary — however indicators level to sure.
A thread that ran by means of each stage of politics in 2020 was the decision for change in policing. A number of high-profile police killings of Black individuals within the spring ignited waves of Black Lives Matter demonstrations at house and throughout the nation this summer time. Boston’s metropolis council passed various changes to policing, together with making a civilian overview board, and the state Legislature approved its own police reform bill that may create a licensing course of for officers.